Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis : JTH

Mechanisms underlying platelet function defect in a pedigree with familial platelet disorder with a predisposition to acute myelogenous leukemia: potential role for candidate RUNX1 targets.

PMID 24606315


Familial platelet disorder with a predisposition to acute myelogenous leukemia (FPD/AML) is an inherited platelet disorder caused by a germline RUNX1 mutation and characterized by thrombocytopenia, a platelet function defect, and leukemia predisposition. The mechanisms underlying FPD/AML platelet dysfunction remain incompletely clarified. We aimed to determine the contribution of platelet structural abnormalities and defective activation pathways to the platelet phenotype. In addition, by using a candidate gene approach, we sought to identify potential RUNX1-regulated genes involved in these defects. Lumiaggregometry, α-granule and dense granule content and release, platelet ultrastructure, αIIb β3 integrin activation and outside-in signaling were assessed in members of one FPD/AML pedigree. Expression levels of candidate genes were measured and luciferase reporter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation were performed to study NF-E2 regulation by RUNX1. A severe decrease in platelet aggregation, defective αIIb β3 integrin activation and combined αδ storage pool deficiency were found. However, whereas the number of dense granules was markedly reduced, α-granule content was heterogeneous. A trend towards decreased platelet spreading was found, and β3 integrin phosphorylation was impaired, reflecting altered outside-in signaling. A decrease in the level of transcription factor p45 NF-E2 was shown in platelet RNA and lysates, and other deregulated genes included RAB27B and MYL9. RUNX1 was shown to bind to the NF-E2 promoter in primary megakaryocytes, and wild-type RUNX1, but not FPD/AML mutants, was able to activate NF-E2 expression. The FPD/AML platelet function defect represents a complex trait, and RUNX1 orchestrates platelet function by regulating diverse aspects of this process. This study highlights the RUNX1 target NF-E2 as part of the molecular network by which RUNX1 regulates platelet biogenesis and function.